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A Multifaceted Approach to Arthritis Treatment

By Scott Taylor Subscribe to RSS | February 16th 2012 | Views:

According to a report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, nearly 50 million Americans suffer from one of the many forms of arthritis. While there are estimated to be approximately 100 different forms of arthritis, the most common is osteoarthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans. Other common forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia.

While there is currently no cure for arthritis pain, there are proven treatment options available, says California arthritis specialist Dr. Ralph Venuto. "Treatment options are available that will lessen the physical pain associated with the disease," says Dr. Venuto. "And while narrowly focused treatment plans have shown some success, I currently support a multifaceted treatment program for arthritis pain sufferers."

Arthritis Treatment - First Seek a Proper Diagnosis

Before beginning any arthritis treatment program, it is essential for the patient to receive a proper diagnosis. Without fully understanding the type of pain being experienced and the likely root causes of the pain, a successful treatment outcome is unlikely.

"To begin, seek the care of a physician that will take the time to review your prior medical history, perform a thorough physical exam (including x-rays) and discuss your individual concerns and questions," adds Dr. Venuto. A patient’s physician will review the information collected to determine the primary cause of the underlying pain. In some cases, arthritis pain is caused by factors such as meniscal tears or loose cartilage, which can add to the discomfort of arthritis. In other cases, the primary cause of pain is simply the disease itself. Once a diagnosis has been formed, a multifaceted treatment program can be developed.

Multifaceted Treatment Plans

"Unfortunately today, many physicians are quick to offer treatment programs simply involving prescription medication," notes Dr. Venuto. "In most cases I prefer a multifaceted treatment approach. Why? Because each individual patient presents unique symptoms, requiring a customized treatment plan to produce the best possible outcome for pain reduction."

Multifaceted treatment programs could include lifestyle change recommendations (diet and exercise programs), the introduction of daily supplements, pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), cortisone injections and/or viscosupplementation, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections or even braces to provide additional joint support. Viscosupplementation describes the process of providing additional lubrication currently lacking in specific joints. Platelet Rich Plasma injections accelerate healing where injected through the use of blood plasma that contains several types of growth factors.

Leading physicians in the areas of California sports medicine and California arthritis treatment use a personalized combination approach with their patients, producing a more successful outcome. While surgery is a treatment option, leading physicians will work through these alternative options to help patients avoid painful surgeries. In the event that the root cause of arthritis is mechanical in nature, such as bone particles rubbing against joint bones, surgery may be recommended to reduce the patient’s pain.

Until a cure for arthritis is developed, the best pain management programs involve partnering with a physician from diagnosis through treatment, using the most comprehensive, well rounded programs available.

Scott Taylor - About Author:
Dr. Ralph Venuto is an Orange County Orthopedic Physician practicing in Newport Beach, California. A sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Venuto is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and focuses on the treatment of knee and shoulder disorders.

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